Well… great question. I feel like I've written about this umpteen times. But the question still comes up… again and again.
I get it. It's hard to decipher through all the “diet” information out there.
Should I be vegan?
Should I eat meat?
Should I avoid gluten?
What about dairy?
My rule of thumb, and the way I try to live my life is:
Eat an organic and as local as possible nutrient dense diet. And, most importantly DON'T FORGET TO BE MODERATE, meaning 80-85% of the time follow your diet, but 15% of the time eat what you want! Life is too short to have it all be about your “diet”.
Ok, so what is nutrient dense?
It includes organically grown, pastured raised, hormone and antibiotic meat (lamb, beef, bison, chicken, turkey, pork, duck), eggs from pastured hens, organic fresh veggies (the greener the better), butter (yes, butter! the real deal butter from pastured animals), fruit (again, organic when necessary), fermented foods (like kimchi or sauerkraut, yum!) organic dairy and limited grains. Also, try to eat foods that are in season for your region.
The big questions that then come up are: what about gluten? what about dairy?
Regarding grains, I tend to be more gluten free these days because it works best for me, and because I do honestly see a dramatic change in my patients when they remove gluten. So for me as little gluten as possible is best. Not to say I don't eat it, as I do once in a while. However if you have an autoimmune disease (like hashimoto's or rheumatoid arthritis) or are dealing with infertility I urge going gluten free. As well, if you have a gluten allergy–avoiding gluten is a no brainer.
As for dairy, its kind of the same deal. Some people just don't do well with dairy so they should avoid it. Me, I tend to have organic non-homogenized full fat milk in my (organic) coffee or tea each day. Occasionally I have some fermented dairy like yogurt or kefir. And of course, I have cheese occasionally (i prefer raw cheese) but I don't feel awesome when I eat too much it (and, it usually causes my eczema to flare up) so I keep my intake low.
And that's really it. Eat nutrient dense foods.
And, don't forget to steer clear of: sugar, high fructose corn syrup, white flour, wheat (for the most part), seed oils and soy. I am stickler on this point as the evidence is clear that these foods are toxic to the body and contribute to virtually all modern, degenerative diseases – from diabetes and obesity to heart disease and autoimmunity to infertility and learning disabilities.